NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 14th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (7-4-1) at Florida Panthers (4-6-2), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens were able to survive and get a
victory last time out despite blowing a late lead.
The Florida Panthers were not as fortunate.
The Canadiens take aim at a second straight victory on Thursday evening when
they visit the Panthers.
Montreal built a three-goal lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday
before yielding three goals over the final 5:56 of the third period. That
included giving up the game-tying goal while shorthanded with just 44 seconds
on the clock.
Carey Price and company recovered, though, and escaped with a 4-3 shootout
win, as Price stopped all three skaters he faced and David Desharnais had the
lone tally in the breakaway session.
"At the end of the day we lost the lead but the game wasn't lost yet so we
stayed focused and won the hockey game," said Price, who ended with 21 saves.
Brian Gionta, P.K. Subban and Travis Moen scored in regulation for the
Canadiens, who snapped a three-game skid (0-2-1). Moen scored for the first
time in 22 games, Gionta got his first in nine contests, while Subban logged
his third goal and sixth point in six games this season.
Despite giving up the late lead, Habs head coach Michel Therrien was just
happy to leave town with the victory.
"You know what, we came to win this hockey game and that's what we did. We
were almost perfect for 54 minutes. We opened the door. ... We will learn from
it," Therrien said.
The Panthers are hoping to pick up a similar lesson after failing to hold a
two-goal lead in the third period on Tuesday against the Washington Capitals,
who netted two goals in the final 5:07 of third before getting the winner 32
seconds into overtime to deal Florida a 6-5 defeat.
It capped a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Caps for the Panthers, who
lost 5-0 in Washington on Saturday. Florida has split its past six games, but
does have points in five of those outings (3-1-2).
Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, Drew Shore logged his first NHL goal
and Tomas Fleischmann put home the 99th tally of his career in the setback.
Scott Clemmensen made 23 saves, including the initial stop on Troy Brouwer in
overtime before the Caps forward put home his own rebound.
"I think our composure is something we have to continue to work on," noted
Florida coach Kevin Dineen. "When you're feeling the pressure, it's how you
respond to it and we didn't to it well. Obviously, sometimes you survive those
and tonight is certainly a tough loss."
The Panthers will play the second of a four-game homestand and won both of
their meetings with the Canadiens at home last season in sweeping the four-
However, Montreal snapped that four-game series slide with a 4-1 home win on
Jan. 22, getting two goals from Andrei Markov and 27 saves by Price.
Clemmensen allowed all four goals on 33 shots to suffer his first career
defeat against Montreal.
02/14 10:20:41 ET